Nepal, located on the foothills of the Himalayas is a beautiful country with snowcapped mountains, lush greenery and lakes that beckons you to be there for your lifetime. But for me, it wasn’t possible as I was on a vacation with my family. The best time to visit Nepal is between October to December and from March to June. The remaining months will either be raining or too cold to even come out from your bed. So it’s better to avoid those and visit when the sun is smiling at you.
Nepal’s main income is through international tourists who throng the place all through the year. The major crowd comes to trek Himalayas and to conquer the Everest. But my intentions were all different, I was in Nepal just to enjoy with my family, have fun and return back spending joyous days with them. Another benefit of being on a vacation is to avoid cooking. You just relax and someone else is taking care of your needs.
Off late, we are so busy with our personal and professional life that we don’t spend quality time with kids and these small leisure trips give us what we have missed in those days and we should necessarily make sure that we utilize this time in the best possible manner.
Coming back to my trip, we visited two places – both marked as famous tourist destinations – Kathmandu (Capital city) and Pokhara (will grade it higher than Kathmandu) as it had much more to explore unlike Kathmandu, where we only visited Pashupathi Nath Temple, located on the banks of Bagmati River. The beautiful architecture in the temple will bowl you over. It is not just one temple but has a collection of 518 temples which would surely occupy your whole day. Pashupatinath is known as the god of animals and the linga has the face of Shiva and animals, hence the name. Devotees crowd the temple to get the glimpse of the Shivalinga. They bring bilva leaves and milk for abhishekam and this is not done by the purohits but by the devotees themselves.
Well, I should mention here the array of shops selling rudrakashas (prayer beeds), and other gem jewelries will tempt you to empty your pockets. But don’t forget to bargain.
From Pashupathinath Temple, we started our journey towards Mankamna Devi (Bhavani Maa). As the name suggests, Mankamna means wish so it is believed that the goddess will fulfill your wishes if requested with a pure heart. Travelling to this temple can be done only via rope car which takes around 25 minutes to reach. The adventurous ride and the valley beneath give you another reason to travel to Mankamana Devi. You cannot avoid the long queue at the temple and have to wait for your turn to see the goddess. When we went, the main temple was under renovation and goddess was shifted to a small shack close-by where all the daily rituals and prayers were performed in an elaborate manner for some of the privilege devotees. While returning, we were all so hungry that we just entered into the first hotel we can find near the temple. The food was lip-smacking and hot and believe me, for tired travellers who are famished, it is the best treat ever.
Next destination was Pokhra, an astonishing place worth a visit. Neat roads, beautiful shops filled with souvenirs to attract the tourists and we did get attracted. We got fridge magnets, ornaments carved out of stones and gems and a few soft leather handbags.
Well, the best part is you can bargain in IC (Indian Currency). We stayed two nights at Pokhra and visited all the tourist hubs.. but missed one “the Peace Pagoda”, as we did not had time so we gave it a miss. The one day trip was filled with excitement and fulfillment as we experienced and explored underground caves and mysterious waterfalls. Few of the places we visited:
- Fewa lake (boating) and Barahi Temple
- Bindhya Basini Temple
- Mehendra Cave (underground cave)
- Devi’s Fall
- Seti River Gorge
- Gupeteshwar cave
My list is very small, as I stayed there only for a day. In the end, even though we were tired, we had thoroughly enjoyed the trip that included loads of walking, trekking, shopping and eating something new.
For me, Pokhra is a place which gives the feeling of getting retired at the earliest and settling down. So next time when you make a trip to Nepal, make sure to spend at least a week there and enjoy the weather and the exciting places leisurely and rejuvenate and deep cleanse yourself.